Yet again, in a slightly Zelig-like way Mgr HH is lurking in the background
The Tablet Page 17, 12th March 1881
ROME. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
March 6, 1881.
On Sunday, Feb. 27, and on several other days last week, the Holy Father admitted to his private Mass a number of distinguished personages. On the 28th, audience was given to the Councillors of the Italian Catholic Young Men’s Society, headed by the President-General, Professor Commendatore Filippo Tolli, who presented Peter Pence to the amount of 6,000 francs, and addresses from the branches of the society in various Italian cities, including Sorrento, Ancona, Brescia, Parma, Lucca, Turin, Benevento, Viareggio, Verona, Viterbo, Padua, Siena, Genoa, Venice, Pisa,, Bologna, and Milan. Among the recent offerings of Peter Pence was the sum of 20,000 francs in gold presented by a deputation of the managers of the Bank of Rome, consisting of Prince Gabrielli, President ; Marchese Mereghi and Cavaliere Rosellini.
On the occasion of the anniversaries of his creation and coronation the Holy Father expended by means of his Private Almoner 10,000 francs in the purchase of beds for poor families in Rome.
On the first of March the members of the College of Masters of Apostolical Ceremonies, headed by the prefect, Monsignor Cataldi, were received in private audience.
On Ash-Wednesday several families of distinguished strangers were admitted to the Pope’s private chapel and received communion from the hands of his Holiness, who subsequently distributed the ashes. At twelve o’clock the same day the Grand Duke Constantine, nephew of the Emperor of Russia, visited the Vatican in state. His Highness wore a military uniform and was accompanied by a brilliant suite. The pontifical officials wore full dress uniforms and the Russian Grand Duke was received with all due honours and remained some time in private audience with his Holiness. He then proceeded to pay the customary visit of ceremony to Cardinal Jacobini.
The Grand Dukes Sergius and Paul likewise paid visits to Leo XII. and the Secretary of State. They were attired in military uniforms.
In a rather tragic footnote: The Grand Dukes’ visit to the Holy Father was eleven days before the assassination of their father Tsar Alexander II in St Petersburg on 13 March 1881.
THE CORONATION ANNIVERSARY.
On the 3rd of March, the third anniversary of the coronation of Leo XIII., solemn High Mass was celebrated in the Sistine Chapel. His Holiness, wearing the Tiara and preceded and followed by the officials of the Noble Ante-camera, entered the chapel at a quarter past eleven a.m., and took his seat on the throne.
The Mass was pontificated by Cardinal Alimonda, the first creation of his Holiness present in Rome. The music consisted of Fazzini’s Mass, with the afifiaruit and Benedictus of Baini. In the Royal tribune sat the Grand Dukes Sergius, Paul and Constantine, of Russia, arid the Princes Oscar and Charles of Sweden.
The Grand Master of the Order of Malta and two Knights Commendatori were in another tribune. All the Ambassadors and Ministers accredited to the Holy See, with the members of their several Legations, were also present. Great numbers of the Roman nobles and their wives occupied reserved seats. The benches for ladies were crowded. Prince Ruspoli, Master of the Sacred Hospice, was unable to attend on account of illness. All the Cardinals in Rome, and an extraordinary number of Patriarchs, Archbishops, and Bishops, including the Archbishop of Halifax, the Bishops of Clifton, Salford, Maitland, Ossory and Dubuque, were in seats behind the Cardinals. Monsignors Stonor, Kirby, and O’Bryen were also present. In the posts allotted to visitors I noticed Sir George and Lady Bowen, Lady Eyre, Marchesa Murphy and daughter, Mrs. K Airlie, Miss Fane, Miss Gillow, Mr. Garstin, High Sheriff of county Louth, Prince Windischgratz, Hon. and Rev. Algernon Stanley, Mr. Sweetman, Mr. and Mrs. Smithwick, Mr. and Miss Donahue, Mrs. Meynell, Mr. Meagher, Mr. and Mrs. Butler, &c. Among the Chamberlains were Messrs. Winchester, Fairlie, Grissell, De Raymond, and O’Gorman. Before descending from his private apartments the Pope received in private audience Prince Altieri, Commandant of the Noble Guards, and the higher officials of that corps, the Commandants of the Swiss Guards and of the Palatine Guards, and Gendarmes. In the Throne-room, the room of the chapel, and in the Tapestry-hall the other officers of these corps were drawn up to receive his Holiness. After the Mass special audience was given to the Grand Master of the Order of Malta, who subsequently paid a visit of ceremony to Cardinal Jacobini, Secretary of State. In the evening Monsignor Rotelli, formerly Archdeacon of Perugia, and now Bishop of Montefiascone, was received in private audience, and remained some time in conversation with his Holiness.